Fearless Cougars nearly upend undefeated Spartans

Fearless Cougars nearly upend undefeated Spartans

LANGLEY, B.C. – The Trinity Western women's basketball remained perfect early in the Canada West regular season, beating Mount Royal 87-81 win Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

With the game in the balance and TWU up by just one point, 76-75, Jessie Brown knocked down a 3-pointer with 1:40 on the clock, followed by lay-ups from both Sarah Buckingham and Nicole Fransson to put the home side ahead 83-75 with 40 seconds to play. From there, the Spartans (5-0) closed out the win. The Cougars dropped to 0-5.

The first half saw a tight battle from the tip-off to halftime, with TWU taking a one-point lead thanks to a 3-pointer from Kianna Wiens (Regina) at the buzzer.

The Cougars had just four turnovers in the first 20 minutes, compared to TWU's 10, while it was the visitors with a better shooting percentage, going 44.1 per cent, while TWU was just 38.7 per cent from the field.

Keeping the game close was the Spartans shooting from distance, as they were 5 for 11 while MRU was just 1 for 8. TWU also had a 22-17 edge on the glass.

The Cougars went on a run midway through the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers from Jordan Blaskin and Sarah Rinsky to give MRU a 54-47 lead.

However, TWU stormed right back, rallying with an 11-0 run, which was capped by a fast-break lay-up from Fransson, giving the Spartans a 58-54 lead with 45 seconds left in the third quarter.

But, it was a game of swings, and the teams traded baskets throughout much of the fourth quarter.

Trailing by four points, the Cougars Madison Hooper knocked down a long-range offering to get MRU within one point, 71-70, with just under three minutes to play.

Eventually, a made free throw from the Cougars Maria Blanco with 2:41 to play evened the score 73-73.

That, ultimately set the table for a late Spartans surge that proved to be the difference down the stretch.